Community Housing Limited (CHL) is a registered charity and public benevolent institution delivering affordable housing accessed via various government programs. For 22 years they have provided housing for people who can’t afford private rental. CHL now manages 5,700 properties across Australia, looking after rent collection, property maintenance, funding programs and tenant selection.
Unaccommodated by a fragmented system
CHL collaborates with all levels of government, which means stringent and frequent reporting requirements. With a property portfolio that had doubled in four years, the old system of getting by (an accountancy and tenancy management system, an aging piece of asset management software, and piles of Excel spreadsheets) was no longer going to cut it.
Property maintenance was also a problem. CHL employs more than 40 contractors in the various states it serves, with multiple variations in charges across states. The large amounts of manual paperwork this generated increased the risk of errors in payments and purchase orders.
"We were spending too much time trying to collate data and had no tools for doing long-term asset planning, which is an important part of our job."
Kicking manual and clunky processes to the kerb
“MYOB Greentree was one of two products that really fit,” Patricia recalls. “The others were not developed for maintenance and would have needed a lot of customisation. We chose MYOB Greentree because of its established commitment to the social housing sector and its strong Partner network.”
The MYOB Greentree Partner already had system designs that suited CHL’s needs and was able to integrate MYOB Greentree with its tenancy accounting system. “They were very flexible about meeting our needs and enabled us to manage our internal requirements and processes without forcing radical change on us.”
"We chose MYOB Greentree because of its strong Partner network"
Continuous improvement and innovation
CHL now uses one central database for managing maintenance schedules. Thousands of different work items are covered by a national bespoke schedule of payment rates, and MYOB Greentree easily processes tens of thousands of purchase orders annually. Maintenance data is entered into MYOB Greentree and automatically replicated in the tenancy accounting system. Quarterly reports that once took a week to compile are run in a day.
CHL has also been able to establish a national call centre for
tenant inquiries. Previously, tenancy workers spent a lot of time
inspecting properties and producing reports; now tenants phone in and
get an instant response on maintenance and rent issues.
"We can do budget projections for years ahead across all states, we can plan each financial year properly, and review costs and performance accurately."
- Spreadsheets, separate systems with data that didn’t match
- Discrete systems that lacked forecasting capabilities
- Slow and labour intensive reporting
- Difficult to accommodate CHL’s requirements
- Centralised ERP data available instantly online
- Easy budget projections and sophisticated planning tools
- Time and manual effort to compile reports slashed
- Bespoke and flexible, allowing the business to innovate